….As La Liga management board delegation visit Nigeria
The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Monday said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would develop an enabling administrative and legal framework in sports for international partnership.
Dalung said this while receiving a delegation of the Spanish Premier League (La Liga) Board led by its President, Javier Tebas, after a bilateral meeting with the League Management Company (LMC).
He said the LMC was about to set a record in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) in spite of the crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“Going by the level with which the crisis in the football family has been amplified, nobody will least expect a visitor, even from Nigeria. But we have one of the best and professionally-managed leagues in the world.
“This has thrown a greater challenge to all stakeholders in the football family to re-examine themselves and their role in trying to narrow the gap of differences and come closer and try to resolve whatever they think are their differences.
“The visit of the La Liga organisers have put us all on track and has also tested our capacity and resilience to be able to manage our affairs. To me, the visit is very golden because it will go a long way to enrich football in Nigeria.
“We are happy that the League management has keyed into this our policy of international partnership and liaising with them to provide business activities within the areas the league is played.’’
Tebas had earlier told the minister he was in the country alongside some members of his board to share football experiences with the NPFL.
“We are here to also learn from the Nigerian League and these experiences will help both countries to grow their football and we will ratify this with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
“Football is not only a commercial issue, football has value in any country and the Spanish football will like to develop those values in the youths of Nigeria, as far as football is concerned.
“We want to use the names of our football stars to transmit to Nigerians the values football has and we are sure that the idea will benefit both countries in taking football to the next level,’’ Tebas said.
Shehu Dikko, Chairman of the LMC, said Nigeria stood to benefit a lot from the partnership, as the LMC was working towards improving the standard of the NPFL.
“La Liga is one of the richest leagues in the world. So, we want to tap from them to make our league better.
“We are working with them on technical issues of developing the league. But, most importantly they will develop our coaches and players as well as commercial activity.
“Above all, La Liga is ready to set up a liaison office in Nigeria. That is the best thing to happen to Nigeria,’’ Dikko said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fernando Sanz, La Liga’s Director for International Projects, was on the delegation.
Others were Melcior Soler, the Director of Audiovisual Affairs, as well as Antonio Barradas, the La Liga Africa Continent Manager.(NAN)